Press Release: Orlando Museum of Art Gears Up for World-Class Exhibition

Orlando Museum of Art Gears Up for World-Class Exhibition
Based on the Landmark Presentation at the Guggenheim
Coming January 2006

ORLANDO, FL — Both art and motorcycle enthusiasts will feel a part of the cultural revolution when The Art of the Motorcycle rolls into the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) from January 22 through July 23, 2006. Based on the landmark exhibition that opened at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1998 to record crowds, The Art of the Motorcycle explores the motorcycle as bo th cultural icon and design achievement and offers a thought-provoking challenge to conventional assumptions about art and popular culture in the modern age. It is organized by Wonders, The Memphis International Cultural Series, in association with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.
Showcasing more than 70 historic and contemporary motorcycles, each exceptional example was selected based upon criteria that considered technical innovation, aesthetic excellence and cultural significance. The exhibition chronicles the most compelling moments in the evolution of motorcycle design and places these developments in a cultural context. Starting with examples produced in the 19th century, the exhibition shows how the motorcycle emerged as an icon of our time.
Guggenheim Foundation Director Thomas Krens has written, “The motorcycle is a perfect metaphor for the 20th century…Invented at the beginning of the industrial age, its evolution tracks the main currents of modernity. The object and its history present the themes of technology, engineering, innovation, design, mobility, speed, rebellion, desire, freedom, love, sex and death…”
“We are thrilled to be the exclusive Florida venue for The Art of the Motorcycle, a world-class exhibition based on the Guggenheim’s landmark presentation, which celebrates the achievements of artistic excellence found in motorcycle design,” says OMA executive director Marena Grant Morrisey. “After seeing this exhibition, visitors will see the world diffe rently, recognizing that art is truly everywhere.”
Selections in the exhibition include the Copeland Steam (Replica 1884), one of several successful steam-powered motorcycles; the Orient (1900), the first commercially produced motorcycle in the United States; the Cyclone Board Tracker (1914), known as the “yellow speed demon” — the fastest bike of its period; the BMW R32 (1923), the motorcycle’s clean angular look shows the influence of German Bauhaus design; the Harley-Davidson EL (1936), the popular “knucklehead,” and early example of the now familiar line of Harley-Davidson cruising bikes; the Easy Rider Chopper (1993), a replica that replaces the lost original from the 1969 film with Peter Fonda and the best known motorcycle in film; the Aprilia Moto 6.5 (1995), a stylish motorcycle created by world-famous designer Phillippe Starck; and, among the sleekest and most glamorous of recent Italian motorcycles, the MV Agusta F4 (1998), designed by Massimo Tamburini in collaboration with Ferrari. Also included are important examples from Indian, Triumph, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and many others.
The exhibition is organized chronologically: the first section, “Inventing the Motorcycle: 1868-1919,” considers the motorcycle in the context of other major inventions of the era: the railroad, electricity and cinema. “The Machine Age: 1922-1929” traces the rapid acceptance of a machine aesthetic, with technology serving as a leitmotif of modern culture. “New World Orders: 1930-1944” finds the machine ethos of the 1920s assuming an altogether different scale and demeanor.
“Freedom and Postwar Mobility: 1946-1958” charts the emergence of the motorcycle as an instrument that allowed for escape from the anonymity of postwar society.
“Popular Culture/Counterculture: 1960-1969” examines the motorcycle as an emblem of the era, as relevant to the cultural iconography as rock music and street protests.
“Getting Away From It All: 1969-1978” charts the nation’s growing malaise and corresponding desire for escape. “The Con sumer Years: 1982-1989” tells the story of a rising stock market and burgeoning middle class, making leisure activities ever more eagerly pursued. Finally, “Retro/Revolutionary: 1993-2004” traces the different routes recently taken in motorcycle design: from the grunge aesthetic, in which motorcycles have been stripped of their traditional trappings, to designs which both restate and update ideas from past decades.
About the Orlando Museum of Art
Nestled in beautiful Orlando Loch Haven Park, the Orlando Museum of Art is a private, non-profit institution, dedicated to enriching the cultural life of Florida by providing excellence in the visual arts. Founded in 1924, the OMA has grown from a small arts center into a nationally accredited and recognized museum. As one of Florida’s cultural gems, the OMA is home to permanent collections of American art, African art and art of the ancient Americas, and presents a variety of temporary exhibitions of the highest artistic merit.
General Information
For further information, call (407) 896-4231 or visit the OMA’s web site at The OMA is located just one hour southwest from Daytona Beach along the I-4 corridor (exit #85) in picturesque Orlando Loch Haven Park at 2416 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, FL.
The Art of the Motorcycle is presented by the Orlando Museum of Art. It is based on the landmark exhibition first presented at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1998.
The Art of the Motorcycle is a registered trademark of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and is used by express license.

Media interested in receiving promotional images on the exhibition may call (407) 896-4231, Ext. 233, or e-mail
Media Contact:
(407) 896-4231, Ext. 233

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Orlando Museum of Art is supported by earned income, the Council of 101, donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, and sponsored in part by United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts campaign, State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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